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I need a new bike, help me decide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


cali_beemer

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cali_beemer

I just sold my 97 R1100RT. A very nice bike but I wanted something more. After owning Kbikes in the past I decided four cylinders were meant for me. I have owned 2 R1100RT's, a K1200RS, a K1200LT, a Buell X1 lightning (POS model), honda shadow 1100, Virago 750, and a madura 700. Along list for the 11 years I have been riding. I want something with 4 cylinders. Here are my parameters:

 

4 cylinders

ABS

fairing

capability to sit comfortably (bar risers are okay)

capability for long distance

be able to handle decently and still be able to soak up the long stretches of open road

reliable and here is the kicker:

priced around 7500 +/-.

 

The bikes I think that I have narrowed down to are:

 

early model 03-05 FJR 1300 abs model

03-04 ST1300 ABS

90's - 2004 K1200RS

99-03 K1200LT

03 K1200GT

 

While they are not all identical in style and they all have pro's and cons, they all seem to do the job. I have now owned 4 BMW's and while I believe they are the best bikes, I am almost thinkg Japanese bike just for a change. Will I be dissapointed? I have heard alot about the FJR but I am concerned, not anti dive front end, maybe too much power, handling may not be as good as my past beemers and resale value just because I often buy and sell. I dont know alot about the specs and I havent sat on an FJR but they are peeking my intrest. Are they shaft driven? reliable? handling/performance????? The RS is a fail safe bike. I have owned one before although I would try for an 02 or newer with the new fairing. Can anyone tell me if the 02 fairing is that much better than the 98-01? The ST is nice but I have seen complaints about heat and lots of it. In cali 100+ degree days are normal and a bike pumping heat is not desirable. The LT is great but not sure if I want the big lug everyday. It would be nice to pop the cases off for inner city fun. I also dont need the stereo since I kept my zumo and XM antenna for whatever I get. Pleas ehelp me decide. I know that this is a BMW site but there are many people here with euclectic taste. How many miles are too many miles to buy a bike with? I have found some deals on LT's and RS's with 60k+miles. I am not sure I want to go that high

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russell_bynum

FJR.

 

Handling is better than any of your previous bikes. Power is abundant but easy to control. Maintenance is almost non-existent compared to all of the BMW's. Resale is probably about the same for all of them assuming you're buying a bike that's a year or two old.

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cali_beemer

I have heard of a dreaded vibe around 4k on the FJR that makes cruising on the highway a not so happy experience as well as some stories of massive heat pumping out, mainly on pre-06 models. Can anyone confirm? I never experienced any big vibrations on my 99 RS and heat was never a problem. Should I just find a nice used RS and put some barbacks on it? I am leary jumping back to a Japanese bike. I have owned 2 yamaha products an neither one were engineering masterpieces, well, and far from it at that. It seems the st1300'S keep an extremely strong resale value. Does anyone have any experience flying to another state to buy a bike and riding it home? I am considering it. Itt seems there are better deals outside CA.

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russell_bynum
I have heard of a dreaded vibe around 4k on the FJR that makes cruising on the highway a not so happy experience as well as some stories of massive heat pumping out, mainly on pre-06 models. Can anyone confirm? I never experienced any big vibrations on my 99 RS and heat was never a problem. Should I just find a nice used RS and put some barbacks on it? I am leary jumping back to a Japanese bike. I have owned 2 yamaha products an neither one were engineering masterpieces, well, and far from it at that. It seems the st1300'S keep an extremely strong resale value. Does anyone have any experience flying to another state to buy a bike and riding it home? I am considering it. Itt seems there are better deals outside CA.

 

Apples vs. Oranges. Your last two Japanese bikes were cruisers...they're not supposed to be engineering masterpieces. If you want to see an engineering masterpiece, go look at any of the current crop of Japanese sportbikes. Honda/Kawi/Suzuki/Yamaha are more than capable of engineering good bikes.

 

The ST and the FJR are both engineered very well.

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cali_beemer

When I said they wey werent engineering masterpieces, I meant that they were not reliable and broke. The shadow was a good bike. The virago and my yamaha waverunner both had constant mechanical problems. I have been burnt by yamaha twice and I am not sure if I am ready to make the third time a charm. I realize that all the Japanese brands can produce very technological bikes.

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My riding buddy had an '04 FJR ABS. He loved it - very fast bike, handled well, comfortable ride and totally reliable. Well made, good quality. And did I say fast? In the summer, he could not ride it in jeans due to the heat pouring off the engine. That has been fixed with the new models and there are do-it-yourself remedies that work for the older ones as well.

 

My pal totalled his FJR (100% his fault, not the bike's) and on my recommendation, used the insurance money for an RT1150. I thought the FJR was a bit too much bike for him and the RT has a calmer personality which seemed more suitable for keeping him out of trouble. He misses the FJR's acceleration but says the RT handles a bit better.

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early model 03-05 FJR 1300 abs model

03-04 ST1300 ABS

90's - 2004 K1200RS

99-03 K1200LT

03 K1200GT

 

You should find a K12RS. The 03 GT will be 10K minimum, much out of your price range. Either Japanese bike would probably satisfy your needs too. Try to get test rides.

Good luck.

 

Bob

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I think, as a basic premise, you will find that at the $7,500 price level the BMWs you're talking about will either have pretty high mileage or may have some other issues. That's not to say that you can't find nice examples in that price range, but they'll likely be more worn than a similarly priced FJR or ST.

 

The same $7,500 will buy you a pretty nice FJR or ST1300. They're both very nice bikes, though focused a bit differently. The FJR is appreciably faster and a better handling motorcycle in the twisty stuff. The ST is heavier and capable of eating vast amounts of highway in a day. I don't know the current state of affairs with regard to aftermarket fixes for the heat issues, but my experience with an ST1100 (I owned one prior to my RT) is that heat is definitely an issue that you need to consider when looking at these bikes (or at least at the ST). My ST was fine when I was moving at a reasonable pace. However, in urban riding conditions it was pretty danged hot. I know that owners have found ways to alleviate the heat problems on these models, so I'd urge you to do some web research to find out whether you're willing to go down that road. If you are, I think the FJR or the ST would probably be more reliable and less expensive to maintain than the higher-mileage BMWs you're considering.

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bakerzdosen

Just another vote for a late model FJR (preferrably '06's or later that have dealt with the heat issue).

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Have you considered the VFR? It's not as big as the other bikes you listed and the 4 cylinders are arranged differently, but it meets all of your parameters including cost.

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cali_beemer

I like the honda VFR but not really quite as nice as any of the others on my list. I am concerned about the amount of heat from both the honda and yamaha. Its the first thing that I hear from owners of them. I am thinking that I may just buy another BMW.

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